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By EDD K. USMAN
Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
(SDN) — AN advance team of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has arrived in Manila on Saturday, January 25.
A highly reliable source familiar with the workings of the Mindanao peace process told SDN — Science and Digital News the three-man team serves as the advance team of OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen.
The source said team is comprised of Director for Muslim Minorities El Habib Bourane of the Department of Political Affairs of the OIC; Datuk Ibrahim bin Abdullah of Malaysia, the OIC secretary general’s Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Southern Philippines; and Adviser Dr. Hassan Ahmad Abedin, Muslim Minorities, Department of Political Affairs, OIC.
“They are scheduled to meet with OPAPP and DFA on Monday (January 27),” the source said.
Also part of the schedule of the OIC group is a meeting in Cotabato City with officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) headed by Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al-Hajj Murad” B. Ebrahim.
Related story: OIC Advance Team Coming to Manila
The team is also expected to meet with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Davao City.
One of the agenda of the meetings with the MILF and the MNLF is the Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum (BCF) that will guide a proposed working relationship between the two groups.
While the MILF founded by Ustadhz Hashim Salamat in 1977 is the bigger group now, the MNLF under Founding Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari is an official observer in the OIC as the “sole and legitimate representative of the Muslims in Southern Philippines.”
The OIC also had recommended the unity in purpose of the MNLF and the MILF because they are striving for the same Bangsamoro people.
Since the early 1970s the OIC has been engaged in the Mindanao peace process starting with the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) with the MNLF, and as observer in the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The OIC is second largest intergovernmental organization to the United Nations. It functions as the voice of the 1.6 billion Muslims across the world.
Here are the OIC member states:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Brunei, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
Resolutions after resolutions of the OIC in its annual Conference of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) have been calling on the Philippine government address the grievances of the Muslims in Southern Philippines. (SDN)